Alamgir’s success story looks more like a plot of a novel. Alamgir was born in 1954 in East Pakistan. He received his early education there and at the age of 15, moved to Karachi; a city full of promises. Alamgir only brought with him two things; a guitar and a rich voice.
Alamgir began his career by playing guitar at Café D Khan situated at Tariq Road. This café was also a meeting place of intellectuals and people from TV. Someone in the crowd impressed by his talent asked him to audition for a youth program. Although Alamgir was not selected for that program, but he got noticed by Sohail Rana a famous music composer who asked him to sing for a children’s program. This set the ball rolling for an illustrious career.
As a pop singer, Alamgir emerged on the music scene in 1973/74 when he sang “Albeela Rahi” a translation of a foreign song. This one song took him to stardom and soon people especially youngsters were raving about his innocent looks and good voice. Alamgir sang many songs including ghazals; his voice suited every mood and he was at ease with every kind of song. Alamgir also did some playback singing. His songs for the film “Aaina” were a super duper hit.
Alamgir currently resides in America with his family. This singer who brought joy to many is suffering from renal problems. He has to undergo dialysis thrice a week. Always a winner, Alamgir is putting a brave front.
The music industry of Pakistan has gone through many changes. In the early 70s, pop music which had already gripped the world was now making inroads in Pakistan. Two names come to mind whenever evolution of pop music in Pakistan is mentioned; Alamgir and Mohammad Ali Shehki. Shehki is an unmatched talent in singing.
Shehki was introduced by Sohail Rana in 1973. At that time he was studying engineering in the NED University of Karachi. Under Sohail Rana’s guidance, Shehki’s talent blossomed. Soon he became immensely popular especially among the younger generation. Shehki made regular appearnces on the TV and the program “Rang Tarrang” featuring the pop singers had a wide audience. His national song “Mein bhi Pakistan hoon” is a milestone in his career. Usually national songs had an air of sobriety but Shehki’s song was so full of life; he sang it with unmatched zeal and conviction. Another hit song was “Allah Allah kar bhaiya”; he sang this song along with Allan Fakir. This song broke all records of popularity. Shehki has performed in numerous live concerts.
Shehki also did some playback singing for movies and acted in a couple of movies too. Nowadays Shehki is leading a quiet life and occasionally gives performances.
Pakistan got its first taste of pop music in the late 60’s when Waheed Murad was seen swaying to the tunes of Ko Ko Korina sung by Ahmed Rushdi for the film Armaan. This song revolutionized the music scene in Pakistan as well as across the border.
Singers Alamgir and Mohammed Ali Shehki took pop music one step further in the late 70’s. Their songs were an instant hit and very popular among the younger generation.
In 1980, Nazia Hassan a teenage Pakistan born British became a house hold name with her very first song sung for an Indian movie. Her first album Disco Dewane sung along with her brother Zohaib Hassan enjoyed phenomenal success. Inspired by the Hassan siblings, a number of singers followed their footsteps some of them are Tehseen Javed, Saleem Javed and Hasan Jahangir. Hasan Jahangir’s “Hawa Hawa” was a super duper hit.
In the early 90’s, the band Vital Signs took the music scene by storm with their song “Dil dil Pakistan”. They were largely helped by their looks and video. Soon many bands such as Junoon, Awaz, and Strings etc joined the band wagon. Of all the bands, Stings still exist. Junoon introduced and popularized a new genre of music the “Sufi Rock”. Shehzad Roy, Ali Haider and Najam Shiraz are some individual singers of the 90’s worth mentioning.
The girls of Pakistan have also contributed to pop music. Besides Nazia Hasan other leading female singers are Hadiqa Kiyani and Fareha Pervaiz. Recently two girls from Peshawar have formed a band Zeb and Haniya. Their music is much appreciated in Pakistan as well as abroad.
TOP TEN POP SINGERS
1. Atif Aslam
2. Ali Zafar
3. Ali Azmat
4. Hadiqa Kiyani
5. Ali Haider
6. Princess Annie
7. Nazia Hasan
8. Junaid Jamshed
9. Shafqat Ammanat Ali